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So long, Pirates: A.J. Burnett signs with the Phillies

Feb 12, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

A.J. Burnett AP AP

Just minutes after news that Cole Hamels could miss the beginning of the season due to a biceps injury the Phillies have made a big move for the rotation: Jim Salisbury of reports that they’ve signed A.J. Burnett to a one-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of says it’s worth $16 million.

Burnett had two fantastic seasons for the Pirates, including ranking among the NL’s best starters last year, but early in the offseason the assumption was that he’d either retire at age 37 or re-sign with Pittsburgh.

That changed a couple weeks ago, when it became clear that Burnett planned to continue pitching and was open to leaving the Pirates. Pittsburgh failed to make Burnett a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer, so there’s no draft pick compensation. And if Hamels gets healthy the Phillies’ front three of Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Burnett is one of the very best in baseball. Last season that trio combined to throw 634 innings with a 3.25 ERA while each topping 200 strikeouts.

  1. courtjester1234 - Feb 12, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Well I’ve read these posts, and you’d think we’re talking about the meaning of life or something. Really it’s simple: a deer looking into the headlights of a on coming car. Rubin Amaro is the deer in this case. He has made countless acquisitions that make me want to deficate. It’s a spontaneous move by a guy who realizes that he hasn’t taken a running back yet and it’s the last round of a fantasy draft. Not I can hardly retain my excitement to possibly see Bobby A-booey back in the OF, I mean he’s such an awsome on base machine. Does anyone have a gun I can borrow? I’ll buy a bullet for myself. Thats right I’m selfish

  2. ojdiddoit - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:07 PM


  3. drs76109 - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Banner, Lombardi: Haslam

    Amaro : Montgomery


    everyone’s probably going to fail this question anyhow, starting with the Phillies themselves…

  4. thepittsburghkid - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    The pirates have raised their payroll the last 4 years and will again this year. Those of you that hate Nutting, claiming he’s a cheapskate can stay home next year when we make a run deep into the playoffs. This team didn’t need to make many moves with the talent it has coming up. They are saving that money for the trade deadline, they will bring in a big name and sign him long term.

    • gibbyfan - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Actually if that’s what they are doing it’s not a bad strategy….wish the Cards had done the same instead of way over paying for a SS.

    • penguins87and71 - Feb 12, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      You have got to be kidding me! Open your eyes the Pirates have regressed this past offseason they haven’t signed anyone this offseason! Many predictors have said that the Pirates will regress to 70-82 win range. Trust me the Pirates won’t make the Playoffs this year! Also you can’t count on prospects to help you, what if they are all busts! Even if they are the real deal it will take them some time to get adjusted to the MLB. It could be 3-4 years until the Pirates are good again. The Pirates are definately in a rebuilding phase.

  5. phillysports1 - Feb 12, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    Joaquin Benoit signed with SD for 2/$14 million I believe . Or some sort .. They should of went after him atleast to help the bullpen; Someone with great experience and that been dominant in the past . Stop looking for former phillie players . It’s not helpful . Amaro is the worst person alive right now . Smh

  6. musketmaniac - Feb 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    The pirates did nothing cause there was nothing worth doing. One more time for the cheap seats. we draft players, we raise a farm system. Off season trades and signings are only part of it. Not spending high dollar now to show off profits is stupid. There be better position players available in june cheaper in the terms of prospects not cash. Love the pirates sick of Pittsburgh fans. 20 years of losing and quick to bite the hand that feeds you a contender, typical Pittsburgh fans.

  7. penguins87and71 - Feb 12, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    They won’t be buying at all by the trade deadline, they will be selling. Also everyone thinks that the top shot prospects are going to come up and make immediate impact, but most likely they will struggle for a few years.

  8. musketmaniac - Feb 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    The pirates would be better off in any city but Pittsburgh, great fans if you’re used to your god failing you, your wife cheating on you, and your kids disobeying you. waiting for one you to knife cutch on a city street

    • 6superbowls - Feb 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      Nice intelligent post numnuts

  9. musketmaniac - Feb 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Pittsburgh fans burnt cliff stoudt dolls in three rivers to support their starting qb. upset about no longer having Bradshaw, whom rarely comes back to the city and he has ripped in the past. same city whose fans posted an unbelievable amount of hate towards the steelers offensive coordinator. did I mention the fact that pitt is a major division one school that is supported by maybe 20% of the city.

  10. sfm073 - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    I have a feeling he is going to be very bad for philly.

  11. irishdodger - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    I suspect AJ & Lee are buddies, both being native Arkansans. Don’t they share the same agent? Who knows but that may have been one of the reasons he chose Philly…in addition to the other 16 million reasons.

  12. sportsfan18 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Should have gone to the Nats. The Nats have better odds to make the playoffs than the Phils…

  13. thepittsburghkid - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Penguins87 you have no idea what your talking about. You literally have zero evidence to back up your claims. Not only have I not seen anyone who is respected in baseball say the Pirates are going to be under .500, but Cole and Marte made a huge impact immediately and were more than productive. As musket pointed out, Pittsburgh fans are cynical, fair weathered and only support winners. I love my city but hate the uneducated fans.

  14. musketmaniac - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    well put kid. I should apologize about my incentive nature.

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